Maternal iodine deficiency (ID) during pregnancy has been recognized as a major cause of abortion, stillbirth, congenital abnormalities, irreversible mental retardation and perinatal mortality. Despite this, studies addressing iodine status of pregnant women is lacking in Ethiopia. The purpose of the present study was to assess the prevalence of iodine deficiency and associated factors among pregnant women in Ada district, Oromia region, Ethiopia.
A community based, cross-sectional study was conducted in rural areas of Ada district in October and November, 2014. Data were collected from 356 pregnant women selected by two stage cluster sampling technique. Presence of goiter was examined by palpation and urinary iodine concentration was measured using inductively-coupled-plasma mass spectrometry. Salt iodine concentration was determined using a portable digital electronic iodine checker. Statistical analysis was done primarily using binary logistic regression.
The median urinary iodine concentration (UIC) was 85.7 (IQR: 45.7-136) µg/L. Almost 78% (95% CI: 73-82%) of the study subjects had insufficient iodine intake. The goiter rate was 20.2% (95% CI: 16-24). The median iodine concentration of the household salt samples was 12.2 (IQR: 6.9-23.8) ppm. Of the households, 39% (95% CI: 34-44%) were consumed adequately iodized salt (=15 ppm). Prevalence of goiter was significantly higher among pregnant women aged 35 44 years (AOR = 7.68 (95% CI: 1.82 32.29)) and among illiterate women (AOR = 2.71 (95% CI: 1.54 4.79)). Multiparous women were 8.64 (95% CI: 1.67- 44.65) times more likely to present with goiter than nulliparous.
Iodine deficiency is a public health problem in the study area. This indicates the need for further strengthening the existing salt iodization program in order to avail homogenously and adequately iodized salt and find ways to provide iodine supplements until universal salt iodization is materialized.Keywords: Pregnant women, Urinary iodine, Goiter, Iodine deficiency, Iodized salt